Continuity Centers

No business should roll the dice with its data

When it comes to the protection of mission-critical applications and information, most business leaders put far too much trust in their legacy systems to do the job. While traditional, in-house assets can do well to support daily business operations and end user capabilities, they aren’t as reliable when a worst-case scenario puts key data at risk. Whether a firm encounters a natural disaster that affects its data centers, human error throws the infrastructure out of sync or networks experience inexplicable downtime, a company needs to be prepared to navigate any circumstances.

Despite the widespread acknowledgement of disaster recovery’s importance in the enterprise arena, decision-makers still fail to recognize the crucial role of dedicated backup and restoration systems in their IT blueprints. There’s no denying the far-reaching effects of a network outage – online news provider Mobile Enterprise recently pointed to a study from the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council revealing 78 percent of respondents experienced downtime in some capacity and 28 percent claimed to have lost data center functionality for up to weeks on end.

With these figures in mind, along with the increasingly complex nature of enterprises’ digital foundations, there has never been a more urgent time for executive leaders to reconsider their recovery and continuity outlooks. For firms that aren’t sure where to start in their missions to mitigate this type of risk, here are a few tips that should serve as a step in the right direction.

Set new standards of recovery
While many organizations have backup systems in place, these don’t tend to receive top priority when upgrades are on the agenda. Just because these support assets aren’t on the front lines, however, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t remain on the cutting edge. Revamped recovery tools can not only ensure faster restoration of apps and data, but also help IT leaders determine crucial metrics. According to Mobile Enterprise, a disaster recovery plan is incomplete unless Recovery Time Objectives and Recovery Point Objectives are clearly defined for every key application.

“Without these important metrics, you cannot set proper expectations and assumptions from management, employees, and customers about your DR capabilities and how to improve them,” stated the DRPC report, as quoted by the news source.

Don’t hesitate to leverage cloud
Long gone are the days when off-premise resources were considered unreliable by IT circles – the cloud now plays a central role across industries in organizations’ primary and backup compute and storage layouts. Not only does this approach offer high availability of applications throughout the enterprise, but it also makes system restoration a breeze. Many service providers even offer one-click solutions engineered to recover a wide array of tech assets at the push of a button. When disaster recovery is given this level of simplicity, a company can rest assured it can get back up to speed.

Unfortunately, it is rare to find a firm that has a fully documented and tested plan at the ready. Mobile Enterprise pointed out that 60 percent of surveyed organizations lack a complete strategy, and of those that do, 23 percent fail to test their services on a frequent basis. Partnering with an expert provider who regularly tests and updates systems is essential to staying ahead of the curve with regard to the latest infrastructure changes, as well as the emergency situations that could affect these assets.

Think about mobile continuity
Building a comprehensive recovery platform requires decision-makers to look at every corner of their digital footprint – including remote access-enabled mobile devices. With the addition of enterprise mobility strategies across sectors, IT leaders have struggled to bring their recovery plans into this new realm, heightening a range of risks and reducing effectiveness of continuity plans. As Mobile Enterprise pointed out, policies such as BYOD need to be supported in full by a company’s recovery resources, or the negative effects of an outage can be even more devastating.

Between recovery objectives, cloud backup and mobile continuity requirements, IT executives have plenty to do when it comes to managing disaster risk in the data center and beyond. If each of these components is addressed with internal support and the guidance of a service provider, however, a firm can be prepared for any obstacles that get in its way.

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